Learn More About Whole Grains for Better Health!
Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 8:00 am
There are tons of foods on the market today that boast the fact that they “contain whole grains” or are “a good source of whole grains.” You might just be wondering what whole grains are. How many whole grains should you eat in a day? How are they good for you? Luckily, we’re here to break whole grains down for you, so you know what you’re buying next time you’re at the grocery store.
The Whole Grain Council defines a whole grain as a grain that contains all three parts that make up a grain. These parts are known as the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, oats, quinoa, rice, barley, spelt, rye, sorghum and even popcorn! With so many options, it’s easy to add some whole grains into your diet.
Now, you may be asking, “why do I need to add more whole grains to my diet?” The simple truth is that they are packed with tons of nutrients. While fruits and vegetables contain valuable phytochemicals and antioxidants, whole grains can often include more of these disease-fighting ingredients. They are also loaded with antioxidants you can’t find in fruits and veggies as well as vitamins B & E, magnesium, iron and fiber. Several medical studies show that whole grains help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
It is recommended that you eat 3 servings of whole grains each day. A single serving can include a ½ cup of cooked brown rice, 1 slice 100% whole grain bread, or 1 cup of 100% whole grain cereal. Of course, there are many other ways you can get your whole grains. A single serving of whole grains is about 16 grams. If you need extra help, look for the Whole Grain Council’s stamp of approval. Any product stamped with the Whole Grain Council’s stamp contains at least half a serving of whole grains. Their 100% stamp helps you identify foods that contain a full serving of whole grains. Just eat 3 products with their 100% stamp or 6 servings with their regular stamp and you’re good to go!